SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras was at SUNY New Paltz Friday as mandatory COVID-19 testing for students continued. The so-called exit testing is required of all SUNY students before they leave for Thanksgiving and complete the rest of the semester remotely. Malatras spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about the testing and what to expect for the spring semester.
Malatras says most campuses were winding down their testing over the past weekend, though some testing continues early this week. Malatras says SUNY New Paltz was projected to complete testing of more than 3,500 students by Monday. When Malatras visited the New Paltz campus Friday, there were just a few active cases noted on the college’s COVID dashboard. However, there has since been an uptick, with 15 additional students testing positive for COVID-19, as the college conducted more than 3,000 on-campus tests during its Test Before You Go testing from November 16-20. Twelve of these students live off campus, and three live on campus. All 15 are in isolation off campus. Thirteen of these students were tested on campus. The other two submitted test results from off-campus facilities.
SUNY New Paltz’s on-campus test positivity rate for the fall semester stands at 0.26 percent following last week’s testing efforts. A total of 46 students and six employees in the on-campus population have had confirmed or presumed positive cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the fall semester. Twenty-two cases are currently classified as active. Ten students are currently in quarantine on campus, and two are in isolation on campus. This comes amid a rise in active cases in the Town of New Paltz, which, at last count, number 85. That’s up from 26 a week earlier and puts New Paltz at the top of the Ulster County list in terms of active cases, 30 more than in the City of Kingston.